Peace in Mindanao . . . is the govt kidding?

Erwin Tulfo

Erwin Tulfo

I am not a pessimist but rejoicing at this point and believing that peace will soon reign in Mindanao following the signing by the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) of the final annex in Malaysia last week may be premature.

As of press time, more than 50 people have died while thousands fled their homes in Maguindanao as fighting between government forces and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) escalates. The BIFF is demanding direct talks with the Aquino administration “to establish an independent Bangsamoro Islamic State, different from that of the MILF.”

A source in Jolo, Sulu said the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) – Misuari faction, on the other hand, is currently gathering funds and logistics for a long drawn war after the government did not include the group in the Bangsamoro peace agreement which will eventually result in the abolition of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The MNLF claims that the Aquino administration’s peace accord with the MILF directly violates the Tripoli agreement and the formal peace talks between the Ramos administration and Chairman Nur Misuari a few decades ago.

Several administrations in the past have tried to resolve the problem in Mindanao but all of them failed since the government only talked to one rebel group while shunning the others.

The result? The war continues between government forces and the other rebel group who did not take part in the peace negotiations.

The Ramos administration made peace only with Misuari’s MNLF while leaving Hashim Salamat’s group out of the talks after it broke away from the MNLF.

Except for the Mindanaoans, everybody else thought peace will finally reign in the South since the MNLF laid down their arms but the MILF continued its armed struggle for autonomy.

While it is true that there is an agreement now between the government and the MILF, the Pnoy administration left out the BIFF of “Kumander Kato” and Misuari’s MNLF from the recent peace accord and the result is even deadlier.

The peace agreement with the MILF is a deja vu of sorts, bringing to mind the agreement between Ramos and Misuari in the 90’s that left out a certain armed group from the negotiating table.

The situation now is even worse because the government has two rebel groups to contain — the BIFF and Misuari’s MNLF.

Thousands are now fleeing their homes in Central Mindanao because of the offensive by the BIFF while Misuari and his men burned several barangays in Zamboaga City a few months back.

Unless this administration will make peace with the BIFF and the Misuari MNLF faction, war will definitely continue in the South.


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  1. Since Abnoy has had a disastrous presidency, he is grasping for a glorious achievement to mask his record failures. It’s all out for a flawed peace destined for doom, no matter the cost in lives and property. This is the malevolent leadership this country of fools has elected.

  2. tama ka erwin 100 porsyentong tama sinabi mo, Kita naman nating unang
    araw pa lang matapos lumagda bakbakan na naman sa ibang paksyon naman.
    Pagpapakitang yabang na naman ang binitawan ni P’noy na pupulbusin
    daw ang mga iba pang rebelde. Ano aksyon ng MILF, para sa katahimikan
    sa Lugar wala, “nga nga” lang, bahala ang sundalo ng gobyerno, at
    ayaw din ng MILF na bitawan ang kanilang armas. Ngayon palang
    kitang kita na tama ka erwin. Minsan pa ginamit na naman ni P’noy
    ang kaniyang sandata ito ang Panunuhol sa MILF, akala niya
    kaya niya pasunurin ang mga muslim gaya ng mga Kongresista
    at Senador. sa suhol na power sharing, wealth and tax sharing,
    Kaya boy sisi at boy suhol na din siya.

  3. florentino maddara on

    Tama ka, Sir Erwin Tulfo. Mahirap na pigilin si Presidente dahil ang goal niya talaga gawin na legacy itong peace deal with the MILF at baka ma-nominate pa siya sa Nobel Peace Award. Lalo na at suportado siya ng US, UN at iba pang western countries. Sa isip niya, bahala na ang next president sa problema sa MNLF, BIFF, Abu Sayaf at iba pang mga spoilers sa peace deal. Palagay ko habang niluluto ng Malacanyang at Kongreso ang Bangsamoro Entity for MILF, sigurado ako na malaking pera ang gagastusin sa on-going na giyera laban sa BIFFat MNLF until makamit ang peace deal with the MILF. Baka magamit pa ang DAP money dito kung hindi agad mag desisyon ang Supreme Court. Because of the President’s too much pre-occupation with this peace deal at anyway the GDP is very high (pero mga rich elite lang ang nakinabang to the detriment of middle income and poor majority filipinos) yung ibang serious na mga problema like smuggling, high power costs, PPP failures, slow justice system, drug trafficking, corruption hindi na niya ma asikaso.

  4. With due respect, there is nothing wrong in rejoicing. If any individual or group try to bring trouble I think the government will deal when time comes. So don’t worry be happy. Think positive Erwin. Let’s give a chance to the peace makers.